- Autocracy was the form of government in Russia. It meant that the Tsar had ABSOLUTE POWER. He could make laws, a[ppoint ministers and decide on all policies completely on his own.
- Nicholas II was weak and EASILY INFLUENCED by others. Even when he took the right decision e.g after the 1905 revolution he changed his mind later on. He did not want ot be Tsar but felt he had a duty to pass it on to his son
- Tsars traditionally relied on repression to deal with opposition. The secret police, the OKHRANA, were very efficent and street disturbances were broken up by the Cossacks.
why was Russia so difficult to govern
- In Russia there were extremmes of wealth and poverty, far greater than in any other European country. These were made worst by big increases in the populations of the two main cities leading up to the first world war.
- Russia was a very backward country. Only 2% worked in industry. 80% worked in agriculture and there was 80% illiteracy.
- Many Ruussian distrusted the West and preffered to use old fashioned methods. This was mirrored in the army general who believed that the bayonet was the most important weapon of war.
- Russia was made up of many diffferent races and religions, there was not a universal language and many groups wanted independce. This led to violence and distrust.
opposition to the Tsarist rule
- There were many opposisiton groups in Russia. The most powerful and the biggest were the Socialist Revolutionaries, who carried out 2000 murders in the years from 1901-1905
- The Socila Democrats were based in the Big cities. In 1903 they split into two groups.
- The BOLSHEVIKS were to become the most significant. They were led by Lenin, and believed that revoultion could only be acheived by asmall committed group.
causes of the 1905 revolution
- Tsarist regime and the want for democracy
- From 1902 there was a series of bad harvests, this led to strikes and widespread unrest.
- The social revoultionaries carried out more than 2000 murders. in 1904 Plehve the Minister of the INterior was killed
- In 1904 Russia went to war with Japan and was humiliatingly defeated
- On 22nd january 1905 (9 january Old style), a procession of Russian workers marched on the Winter Palace, the residence of the Tsar. They were led by Father GApon and carried a petition for the Tsar.
- Tsar Nicholas II was not in the Winter Palace at the tme, but his troops opened fire upon the crowd. At least 2000 were killed and 800 wounded but the number of deaths may have been as high as 1000.
- There is no reason to believe that the result would have been any different if Nicholas had been present
What effects did bloody sunday have?
- It was the first of a series of events, which led to the 1905 Revolution
- Tsar Nicholas was blamed for the deaths and as news spread there were outbreaks of violence across Russia
- It seemde to show that the Tsar had little or no interest in the lives of his people and led to an outbreak of terrorism and unrest
- Gapon was actually a government spy and fled abroad, he was then assinated by a social revolutionary
- In June there was a mutiny in the navy and the battleship Potemkin was seized by the crew
Revolution of 1905
Russian Revolution of 1905 was a spontaneous protest at the rule of Nicholas II. It began with bloody sunday march on January 22 and ended on the 300 of October when the TSar publised the October manifesto
Nicholas was only saved because his army remained loyal. But he did not learn his lesson
The Ocotober Manifesto was granted by Nichlas II in OCtober 1905 after the revolution of that year had threatened hhis overthrow. In the Manifesto Nicholas promised
- Civil liberties for all people including freedom form arrest and freedom of conscience, speech , assembly and association
- Creation of a state Duma which would have to agree to all laws
- Universal suffrage for the election of the Duma
IT was ineffective.
- Nicholas II soon changed his mind. THe Duma met but was closed after just 72 days. Three more Dumas met in the next ten years but each had fewer powers and were elected on a norrower franchise
- Nicholas II retained the title autocrat and contiued to appoint and dismiss ministers. THere was no apparent relaxtion in the Ohkrana.
- Tsar appointed peter stoylpin as pm who tried to modernisse russia, by 1924 15% of peasents owned there own land. but after stolypin was assinated the Tsar did not contiued with his policies